PR Girl PRowess: Learning to Steal

Before we go nuts over the title of this post, let me clarify how stealing has helped me in my career.

When I first started in PR, I was incredibly stubborn.   I was eager to learn and more than willing to put in my due diligence, but never the less I was stubborn.   Making the transition from full-time student to employee/PR girl is not an easy one.   You’d like to think you’re ready for whatever your career might throw your way, but as we’ve said several times, sometimes college simply does not prepare you for every bump in the road ahead.

What got me through my first years as a PR girl and helped me begin to establish my career? Blatantly stealing tactics, short cuts and tricks from my fellow PR girls.   I certainly do not have all the answers, and I am absolutely not the most organized person on the planet.   After seeing my peers’ successes, I learned to adapt   and take on a few of the tricks that made them successful, namely:

Desk organization: Until recently, I used to keep a huge pile of papers that were “urgent” or “desperately” needed on my desk.   Might not sound too bad, but this pile contained all the papers from all my clients for the past 5 weeks.   I finally looked around the office and decided to take my mess to a filing system.   I can honestly say I feel lighter just because of a set of manilla folders!

Time management: I struggled with time management when starting public relations. Between being a natural procrastinator and simply having too much to do (a common PR girl problem), I would run around like a mad woman trying to complete every task in no coherent fashion.   Adrianna actually taught me a few tricks when organizing tasks within meetings and on to-do lists while we were working together.   A year later, I still use her to-do list format and have shared it with my own teammates.

Brainstorming: I have mentioned this before, but it’s incredibly beneficial to steal brainstorming tactics from fellow PR peeps.   Brainstorming can be very overwhelming when just starting out.   If you take your first couple brainstorms to listen to your colleagues and follow their train of thought, you will be more comfortable speaking out with your brilliant ideas in front of them.

So no, I’m not talking plagiarism, theft of intellectual property or fraternity-hazing of competing PR firms.   But a little bit of stealing can help you grow as a PR professional, student, and person as a whole

How has stealing helped you in your PR career path?

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Random Life Lessons from the NYC Subway System

One of the reasons Adrianna and I started the blog was to make sure every PR guy and gal, and young people everywhere really, felt comfortable fulfilling their dreams and moving to the big city. While New York can seem scary at times, it always surprises you with new experiences and important milestones.   Whether you’re ready or not, New York will help you grow in ways you never thought you could.

Example, the mini-daily-melting-pot that is the city subway system.   I would not like to know the hundreds of hours I’ve spent on the subway in the past seven years, but I also wouldn’t trade the necessary experience for anything.

Here are a few random life lessons we’ve learned on the New York City subway:

  • If you’re grumpy/not looking your best/exhausted, keeping your sunglasses on will give you insta-glam
  • Even if you don’t know where you’re going, there will be someone with a kind heart and experience to tell you the way
  • Never try to eat Chinese food while in motion
  • Dress in layers, that can easily be peeled off and piled back on
  • A polite smile can cheer anyone’s day…
  • …but sometimes silence is golden
  • After being underground, it’s always better when you come out for air

What are some life lessons you’ve learned through NYC transportation?

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Landing an Internship Without Experience

As you continue searching for summer internships, one of the most frequently asked questions we receive is how to land an internship without any experience. Many of you are in the same boat.

I’m a freshman studying PR. I’ve been applying for summer internships, but many of them require applicants to have more experience than I do. I know that as I continue with school, my resume and portfolio will continue to grow, but how can I prevent myself from being discouraged and show that I have a lot to offer, despite my lack of experience?

To start off, do not be discouraged! You’re not the only one in this position and you have years ahead of you to gain experience. We all started with a blank resume. First you might need to reassess the internships you are applying for. If there’s an internship you are dying to land but the position requires PR experience that you don’t have, you may want to skip this opportunity and come back to it once you have the experience under your belt. Continue searching for  an internship without these requirements.

Once you find one, it’s important to remember that employers value your academic experience, extracurricular activities, volunteer work and jobs not related to PR. All of these communicate dedication and responsibility.  It’s also important you…

  • Make sure you tailor your resume and cover letter for each internship you are applying for.
  • Don’t be afraid to call out how you are willing to work extra hard at the job because it’s the field you’re interested in.
  • Make your prior work, academic, extracurricular and volunteer experience relevant to the position you are applying for.
  • Be creative and demonstrate how your summer nannying helped you develop skills applicable to the internship you are applying for.
  • Make sure you’re networking and have reached out to any/all of your contacts. Go on LinkedIn  and don’t be afraid to ask around, especially to fellow students.

Remember that your first internship doesn’t need to be the “perfect” one. Like you said, you have a lot to offer and aren’t expected to have years of PR experience.  You have many years ahead of you to tackle more internship opportunities and it will only get easier from here.

What were your tricks for landing an internship without any experience?

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Networking Through the Weekend

This weekend while we were in Hofstra, we were reminded just how different our readers can be.  Whether you’re in college, starting out, or in the middle of your career, whether you’re in New York, Iowa, or Paris, all PR girls are looking to relate to one another, and know that they’re not the only ones who are head-over-heels for this crazy career path.

One thing we can all do?  Make it easy for each of us to connect to one another.  I’m not just talking the tried-and-true modern day PR girl tools of Facebook and Twitter, but even reaching out when you’re going about your weekend and letting loose a bit.  Why not take the upcoming days as an opportunity to practice your networking skills and make important introductions?

Strike up a conversation with a stranger – True, we don’t really want to talk about work over the weekend.  But there are a lot of aspects about PR that are interesting, and play into other parts of our lives.  Is the cute guy you’re chatting up looking for a sports drink brand to sponsor a corporate event of his? Maybe you have a friend who has a client that may work.

Don’t think of it as competition – Talking with a girl at a house party about upcoming interviews? Instead of considering her your arch enemy in the race for the perfect position, trade information on where you both are looking. If one company isn’t right for her, maybe she can connect you with the HR rep so you can learn more.

Learn something new – Instead of rehashing the events of the week over and over with your girls, take an opportunity to learn more about their career interests and plans.  I cannot tell you how much I have learned from my friends when it comes to delegating tactics, managing up, even organizing skills, and they all have completely different occupations!

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